Military hospital acknowledges wrong done to pro-life doctor but gynaecology department still obstructs his career

2 Military Hospital, Wynberg, Cape Town.

The commanding officer of 2 Military Hospital, Colonel Jack Molomo, has written to the attorneys of pro-life doctor Jacques de Vos, acknowledging that wrong has been done by preventing him from being signed off as a medical intern more than two years ago, says Doctors for Life International (DFL) in a press release.

But despite Col Molomo’s acknowledgement of the injustice done to Dr De Vos and his commitment to assist in getting his internship signed off so that he can get on with his disrupted career, the hospital’s head of gynaecology Dr Elizabeth Van Wyk “persistently refuses to sign Dr De Vos off”, says DFL.

Lawyers for Dr De Vos are now considering his options to take Dr Van Wyk and or the hospital’s intern curator Dr R Ismail to Court to compel them to sign him off, and for compensation for the damages that he has suffered, in their personal capacities.

Dr De Vos was a medical intern at 2 Military Hospital when he was suspended without a hearing from the
gynaecology rotation for his views that the unborn child is a human being.  Dr Ismail and Dr Van Wyk were responsible for suspending him at the beginning of 2017.

Dr De Vos’ internship was completed in June 2017 after which he was due to start his community service. However,
Dr Van Wyk (gynaecology) and Dr Walele (paediatrics) then refused to sign Dr De Vos off, effectively barring
him starting his community service.

Dr De Vos was then charged with unprofessional conduct, and after more than two years of delays, the
professional conduct committee on December 3 this year struck down two of the charges against Dr De Vos and
confirmed that the disciplinary hearing does not stop the hospital from signing him off.

In the meantime, the new officer commanding 2 Military Hospital, Com Molomo, has written to Dr De Vos’ attorneys, acknowledging the wrongful actions of his predecessors and committed to assisting Dr De Vos to be signed off. Subsequently, the paediatrics department confirmed that Dr De Vos is signed off.

Despite all these developments, Dr Van Wyk persistently refuses to sign Dr De Vos off, claiming that he still has to do an extra two months of internship as a result of being removed from the gynaecology rotation. But according to Dr De Vos’s attorneys, there is no legal requirement for him to do another two months internship.

The repeated delays in the hearing have taken a toll on the health and wellbeing of Dr De Vos who suffers from a rare form of deep vein thrombosis, say his attorneys. But they say he is nevertheless passionate about his medical career and they are committed to mounting enough pressure for him to start practising as soon as possible.

Dr De Vos, who is a member of Doctors For Life International (DFL) is supported by DFL and legal team (De
Wet Wepener Attorneys and Adv Keith Matthee SC) on a pro bono basis. For more information contact Doctors
For Life at mail@dfl.org.za or 032 481 5550.

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